They’re Creepy and They’re Kooky

addams family

/Film is reporting Tim Burton will work on a 3D, stop-motion Addams Family film something that seems better fit for Tim Burton than a glove is fit for a hand based on the original cartoon by Charles Addams.   So if his past films are any indication, Gomez will be voiced by Johnny Depp and Morticia by Burton’s wife, Helena Bonham Carter.   And we’ll get a Danny Elfman score instead of a Marc-Shaiman-doing-Danny-Elfman score as we did in Barry Sonnenfeld’s 1991 film (terrific score nonetheless).   Seems like this good be great.

A + B = C

I haven’t posted a Sporcle quiz lately, so here you go: Name the movie based on other characters the actors have played.   This is what I call “The Movie Game” and have played with people in the past.   The idea is this: An actor in movie ‘A’ and an actor in movie ‘B’ starred together in movie ‘C’.   Got that?

For example, I would say, “Edward Scissorhands and The Lord of the Rings,” and you would say, “Pirates of the Caribbean” because Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands and Orlando Bloom in The Lord of the Rings starred together in Pirates of the Caribbean.   It’s a fun game for when you need to pass some time (waiting, driving, etc.).

Sporcle takes this concept a little further.   Instead of giving movies, they give you character names from those movies.   This version is a little harder, I think, because if you don’t know who played the character and don’t know what movie that character is from, you’re stuck.   At least with knowing the movie (in my version), you might have an idea who was in that film.   With this version, there are enough clues that you can still probably have a shot.   Try it!

iMaxi iPad Case With Wings!

We all should have seen this one coming: The jokes about the iPad’s name continue.   The iPhone Blog posted yesterday Etsy is releasing a case for the iPad called the iMaxi.   And it has wings.


This is as creative of a case as AirMail’s folder sleeve for the MacBook Air:


Which was made in response/homage to Steve Jobs at the keynote address announcing the Air.

jobs with macbook air

Well done.   Well done.

Betty White is Awesome


Saturday Night Live head writer Seth Meyers on Twitter yesterday confirmed on 08 May, Betty White will be hosting the show.   Fantastic!

“Dr. Linus”


“Dr. Linus” certainly wasn’t the most exciting or most tense episode of the series, but it was a great episode to move the story along and start giving us answers (keep reading).   Here are a few thoughts:

But something that I wanted an answer for didn’t get: How did Ben escape from the temple?   Last week we left him in an unsettled state backing away from Sayid, and this week we see Ben running through the jungle.   Did he use the secret passage, too?   If not, how did he get past smokey?

Some future action (don’t know what yet) will reset everyone’s timelines at some point before the crash of Oceanic 815.   Therefore, the flash-sideways that we see now really isn’t an alternate realty like the writers have said; instead, it’s THE timeline.   This theory of mine was backed up by:

The most revealing piece to me was when Roger Workman mentioned the Dharma Initiative and leaving the island.   That was the first mention of the island in any flash-sideways we’ve seen so far.   Something happened to change what we know of their past.   What was it?   And when was it?   We also found out that Richard Alpert was given a gift by Jacob and that presumedly Richard came to the island on the Black Rock.

Back in “The Substitute” when we were first introduced to Dr. Linus, a friend of mine and I thought that his teaching subject, European history, wasn’t an accident.   For instance, why not have Ben be a statistics teacher or a grammar teacher; European history was chosen for a reason.   Perhaps that reason was revealed in this episode.   When discussing Napoleon on Elba, Dr. Linus mentions something about Napoleon being powerless on his own island a parallel to Ben on the LOST island.

That wasn’t the only parallel between on-island and off-island Ben.   In both story lines, Ben was tempted by Locke and was given the choice of being the Ben we’ve known for so long or a different Ben; he could choose the self-interested path to power, or he could act for the greater good.   Both on-island and off-island, he resisted temptation and chose the more righteous path.

Final thought: Walter Peck is still a dick.

Can’t wait for next week!

Do You Know Where Your Cows Are?

GOOD this week linked to a website called “Where Is My Milk From?” that will, upon entering a code found on your milk container, tell you where in the U.S. your milk came from.   Very cool and very interesting to see 1.) where it came from and 2.) what larger distributor is behind “generic” milk.

For instance, my Stop-and-Shop-branded milk is produced by Garelick Farms in Franklin, MA.   They make their own milk, but apparently they also produce Stop and Shop milk.

stop and shop milk map

Last week I had Market-Pantry-branded milk from Target.   This milk came from Byrne Dairy in Syracuse, NY.

target milk map

I probably wouldn’t have thought anything of this, except I started watching Food, Inc last week.   The film mentions that so few food corporations control the American food supply, and even when you think you’re buying a different brand, you really aren’t.   Nowhere on either milk cartons are Garelick or Byrne mentioned.   That seems obfuscatory at best, nefarious at worst.

See where your milk came from (and who actually produces it).

Oscar Wrap-Up

My predictions were 62.5% correct. I scored 15/24 and tied my coworker in the contest. He won on the tiebreaker, but has graciously decided to give me the prize anyway. So thank you, @nagle!

Two Oscar-related videos here. The first one says thanks:

(Edit: video removed from YouTube.)

And the second is “a trailer for every Academy Award winning movie ever”:

(Nod: The Daily Dish for both)

My Oscar Predictions, For What They’re Worth


(Hint: they’re probably worth nothing.)   My coworker Jon Nagle has an Oscar contest, so I decided to fill out a ballot… and then decided to post my predictions (or, rather, guesses in some cases) here.   We’ll see how I did later.

Best Picture: Avatar
For anyone who takes the film-going experience seriously, the achievements of Avatar cannot be ignored.   In a recession economy, this film became the highest-grossing film of all time by well over $100 MILLION dollars (as of this weekend, it stands at $720 million).   Dollars aside, the technologies both invented and pushed to the next level will have a profound impact on how movies are made in the future.   Was Avatar the best film of the year.   Perhaps not.   But its contributions to the industry are unmatched.

Actor in a Leading Role: Jeff Bridges
I didn’t see Crazy Heart (or any other on this list) (actually, come to think of it, I’ve seen very few of the nominated films this year), but the Bridges has the buzz.   And he won a Golden Globe.   And a Screen Actors Guild award.

Actor in a Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz
He foxtrotted away with a Golden Globe, tangoed with a SAG, and tonight, he’ll waltz with Oscar.   Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Actress in a Leading Role: Sandra Bullock
This one will be close, but the feel-good-ness of the film and her performance (so I hear) will speed her away with this award.

Actress in a Supporting Role: Mo’Nique
Is this a competition?

Animated Feature Film: Up
Just because it’s Pixar doesn’t make it a shoe-in, but this one’s a shoe-in as it was the film that was hiding under our porch because it loves us.

Art Direction: Avatar
For certain the best on this list.   Breathtaking creativity.

Cinematography: Avatar
This will be either Avatar or The Hurt Locker, but the 3D-nature of Avatar will push it ahead.

Costume Design: The Young Victoria
I have no idea, but everyone loves a period piece, right?

Directing: Kathryn Bigelow
Because the Academy plays politics, this is her consolation prize for not winning best picture.   Pretty good consolation prize if you ask me.

Documentary (Feature): The Cove
I just started watching Food, Inc. (disturbing, very, very, very disturbing), but I hear The Cove makes a bigger, umm, splash.

Documentary (Short): The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant

Film Editing: The Hurt Locker
Didn’t see the film, but I understand the editing plays a central role to the success of the film.

Foreign Language Film: The White Ribbon
Yep, just picking something here.

Makeup: Star Trek
If Frida can win for a unibrow, then Star Trek can win for pointy ears.

Music (Score): Up
Typing Up here and not Avatar hurts me.   This is the one category I feel I can give an honest prediction (does that mean I’m lying in the others?).   Up was NOT the best score of 2009.   Maybe Avatar wasn’t either.   But of the five nominees, Avatar was by far the best musical achievement.   Given my past abhorrence of everything James Horner, I can’t believe I’m advocating for a win over Michael Giacchino who is easily one of my favorite film composers.   That said, Giacchino has won a Golden Globe, BAFTA award, and a Grammy.   Tonight he’ll win his first Oscar.   If the Academy asked me (they didn’t), Up wouldn’t have been nominated because the best Giacchino score of 2009 was Star Trek.   If Up wins, though, I will definitely be happy for Giacchino.   And at least this year, the as-Oscar-worthy-as-Windows-is-bug-free rubbish of Gustavo Santaolalla won’t win.   (If you’re so inclined, you can read my reviews of James Horner’s score for Avatar and Michael Giacchino’s scores for Up and Star Trek.)

Music (Song): “The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)”
It’s been winning other awards.   How’s that for concise compared to the above category?

Short Film (Animated): A Matter of Loaf and Death
Nick “Wallace and Gromit” Park will win.   But Logorama is awesome.

Short Film (Live Action): Kavi
No clue.

Sound Editing: Avatar
Sound Mixing: Avatar

I have no idea what the difference between these two are.   But Avatar had great sound.

Visual Effects: Avatar
Avatar should win this award and some other super-awesome-technical-achievement special-award.   Because the visual effects were better than Megan Fox, Scarlett Johansson, Miranda Kerr, and Bar Refaeli walking into my bedroom at the same time.   With whipped cream.   Seriously, there’s no competition in this category.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Up in the Air
The best?   Or a consolation prize?   Probably both.

Writing (Original Screenplay): Inglourious Basterds
This film will need something other than best supporting actor.   So screenplay it is.

Well that’s the end of the list.   Thanks for watching.

Sic Semper Rome Fans?


Thus always to fans of Rome?   Entertainment Weekly is reporting the HBO series Rome may finally be headed to the big screen:

Fans of HBO’s critically-beloved (but short-lived) series Rome may not have seen the last of Vorenus and Pullo. Multiple sources have confirmed to EW that a big-screen sequel to the sword-and-sandals series is well underway. Rome creator/executive Bruno Heller who went on to create CBS’s hit The Mentalist has finished a script for Morning Light Productions, which financed the development and will produce the film. Series stars Kevin McKidd (Lucius Vorenus) and Ray Stevenson (Titus Pullo) will likely sign onto the movie, which picks up in Germany four years after the series ended. The next step for Morning Light is to find a director and a studio, since HBO Films won’t be involved.

Fantastic news if you enjoyed the short-lived series.   I caught the series on DVD, and I wasn’t disappointed.   The production value of Rome was astounding the costumes, the set pieces and the play on Roman history was delightful.   I hope this film happens.

(Nod: /Film)

The Smoke Monster Does Math

Apparently this was a known thing amongst the LOST internets, but in looking for the sound effect made by the Smoke Monster this morning, I learned something new.   Note the sound Locke’s calculator makes in this scene from “Walkabout” (Season 1, episode 4):

Sound familiar?

The Toys Are Back

I’m not really sure why, but for some reason, I’m really looking forward to this film.   Maybe because the original was so good.   Or maybe because Pixar is amazing.   Whatever the reason, I’m looking forward to seeing this.   Here it is, the final poster:

toy story 3

(Nod: /Film)

Gold-Medal Music

The Olympics rarely fail to disappoint in the orchestral music category.   Usually the gems come from the ceremonies (think John Williams’s classic themes that have become a staple of NBC’s music package and Basil Poledouris’s Atlanta piece), but in this case, this gem, composed by Canadian composer Darren Fung, was in a network commercial highlighting their coverage and the success of the Canadian Olympic team.

(Nod: Cinemusic)

Quiz Time

As if you haven’t been able to tell, I like quizzes.   Here’s today’s.   How many Olympic host cities can you name from their emblems?   I scored 18/20.   How about you?

How Millennial Are You?

Take the Pew Research Center quiz to find out.   Millennial, of course, referring to the Y-Generation, or Millennial Generation.   I scored 90/100.   How did you score?

How Long Should You Nap?

Ten Minutes:

The 5-minute nap produced few benefits in comparison with the no-nap control. The 10-minute nap produced immediate improvements in all outcome measures (including sleep latency, subjective sleepiness, fatigue, vigor, and cognitive performance), with some of these benefits maintained for as long as 155 minutes. The 20- minute nap was associated with improvements emerging 35 minutes after napping and lasting up to 125 minutes after napping. The 30-minute nap produced a period of impaired alertness and performance immediately after napping, indicative of sleep inertia, followed by improvements lasting up to 155 minutes after the nap.

Maybe if I took a nap during the day I wouldn’t fall asleep on the couch at night.   I wonder how my department’s management would respond to my nap requests.

(Nod: The Daily Dish)

Merril Hoge Squashes the Telestrator

Throughout his analysis of the past NFL seasons, ESPN NFL analyst Merril Hoge often proved himself to be very energetic and enthusiastic using the Perceptive Pixel touchscreen telestrator on SportsCenter.

If you’re an SC producer, what can you have Merril do now that the NFL season is finished? Have a little fun… with NCAA squash.

Yo Ho Ho is reporting Ian McShane will join the cast of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides as the legendary Blackbeard.   McShane is definitely a riveting choice for the role and the series.   Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush will reprise their roles as they look for the Fountain of Youth (hinted at at the end of At World’s End).   Joining the cast with McShane is Penelope Cruz.   Orlando Bloom’s and Keira Knightly’s characters won’t be returning which offers the series something of a fresh-esque start.

Olympic Curling Is Awesome

I’ve been watching Olympic curling at work for the last week.   There’s just something very riveting about the game.   Perhaps one of the reasons I get sucked in is because curling is a thinking game loads of strategy is required.   A few of my coworkers were at first skeptical toward the game, but I’ve managed to turn them into viewers, too.

Anyway, GOOD posted a handy primer on curling here.   Useful if you’re new to the game.

P&G Thanks Moms (So Do the Rest of Us!)

We will always be a happy, hopeful kid in our mothers’ hearts, and our mothers will always occupy a special place in our hearts. P&G capitalized on these sentiments with their touching Olympic commercial. I’ve liked the commercial since I first saw it, and now that I found out Daniel Kleinman (the same Daniel Kleinman of James Bond title sequence fame) had a hand in the project, I like it even more.

Go moms!

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

…and sometimes you should feel like using a nut.   From Lifehacker:

The folks at Apartment Therapy know a thing or two about making an almost-perfect piece of furniture perfect, and according to them, a walnut under the right circumstances can buff out a ding in vintage wooden furniture with the best of ’em. The simple method, in, *ahem*, a nutshell:

  1. Identify areas of your wooden furniture that are unsightly because they have been bumped or scraped.
  2. Get your walnut.
  3. Rub the walnut on the damaged area.
  4. Watch in amazement as the damaged area begins to darken.
  5. Step back and admire your work. Hey, you didn’t even break a sweat!

Terms of Service

How true is this?   From Graph Jam:

Should I Be Proud?

One of my graphics made it on Deadspin!   Apparently fifth-graders run the site there is an on-going series regarding why my graphic made it on the site.

Do You Know Your Presidents?

Can you name the U.S. Presidents by year(s) served?   Find out at Sporcle!   I scored 100%.   Can you match that?

“Through Dispair and Hope”

Still one of the best sequences in animated film.

Why No Avatar-me?

With the wild success of James Cameron’s Avatar and after seeing this photo of Cameron as a Na’vi:

james cameron as an avatar

I’m very surprised a website like Simpsonize Me (currently unavailable, but a gallery exists here) hasn’t popped up yet that will turn a photo you upload into your own Na’vi character.   Maybe such a photo-realistic transformation is beyond the current technology unless you’re James Cameron?